Harty on Albion, Crawley and the FA Cup

AS football days out go, Saturday was one of the best.

A couple of lessons learned even before we left Worthing – if you’re going to meet at a pub, the Cricketers, at 10.30am, make sure that pub is open at that time.

And Muldoons serve up a superb full English breakfast, which is probably better eaten inside than out on the alfresco section.

Nevertheless, Peter, our trusted driver, from A and A Travel, got us to Watford in time for a pre-match drink, and very enjoyable football pub quiz, at the Horns, a short trip from Vicarage Road.

It was a proper football pub, both staff and opposing fans made us very welcome, what followed at 3pm was even more welcoming.

Quite simply, the Albion blitzed championship side Watford, 1-0 flattered the hosts, and I wonder when the Hornets boss Malky Mackay said his side deserved a draw if he’d been in the Horns before the game as well.

The insult on Saturday came when it probably took longer to boil an egg than the number of highlights shown on ITV.

Thankfully, Crawley got a bit more coverage after their great win at Torquay.

Which brings me on to the update of last week’s charity bet, kindly supplied by Phil Bell at Fontwell Park.

As we know, both teams were victorious, which resulted in me picking up £700 for Chestnut Tree House, which will go on equipment for the children’s hospice and both clubs are sending a representative down for a presentation before the next round.

As regards the next round, Crawley’s trip to Old Trafford is the stuff dreams are made of. If they were to beat Manchester United, it would quite simply be the biggest upset in the history of football. If they don’t, they will still have the memories of their epic cup run and the estimated £1.5million revenue they have generated from it.

Returning to the Albion, arguably the velvet bag could have thrown up a more exciting draw, but the trip to Premiership Stoke is nonetheless winnable.

Albion, with their free-flowing, attractive football, travel to the temple of “hump, bump and thump” (with a long throw chucked in), with the real possibility of a classic FA Cup giant killing.

And what odds would I get for a Sussex win double in the next round?

I recall a friend ringing me at work on the day United bought Andy Cole for £7million, stating that “Alex Ferguson had taken leave of his senses”. I wonder if the same could be said for Kenny Dalglish as he paid £35million for Andy Carroll on Monday?

Not to mention Chelsea’s £50million for Fernando Torres, has football finally gone mad?

Only till the next time, the only upside is that both Liverpool and Newcastle fans, rather than burning their respective obsolete replica shirts, a national newspaper, in conjunction with Oxfam, have offered to ship them out to youngsters in Africa, who will love the shirts regardless of any stories of alleged treachery and betrayal behind them.